A reader writes:
You are missing another significant point: McCain thought this would be a National Security election in which he would be confortable in the discussion. Instead it became an election about the Economy in which McCain had no clue on how to lead the discussion.
True. Obama was wrong about the surge, and McCain was right. But, because he was right, Iraq went away, and his rightness and Obama’s wrongness didn’t matter. And, in his closing address in that final debate, McCain was left using tough, hard words like “honor” and “sacrifice” that seemed utterly ridiculous after an hour and a half in which the candidates had been outcompeting each other to shower federal largesse for those behind with a couple of mortgage payments. But that gets to my basic point: You don’t want “issue” candidates. You want candidates who can place whatever the headlines happen to throw at you within an internally consistent worldview.
For what it’s worth, I never want to hear the word “maverick” again as long as I live. As I said a while back, that’s an attitude, not a philosophy.